Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Frederick Oldach, 4 December 1888

Date: December 4, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: med.00846

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. Miller derives his transcription from a transcription of the letter printed in Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1914), 3:232. The transcription presented here is derived from The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:242. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

Evn'g: Dec: 4, 88

Mr. Oldach | Binder

Sir, I will have 150 (not 50 nor 100) copies bound1 in the style I like—as sample.—I send 100 autograph sheets—(50 were sent before.) I send 100 labels—(50 were sent before.) The sample made up is herewith—partly as sample which all copies will be compared strictly by—and partly to put in the right page for "Specimen Days" title back'd with the copyright line, wh' in present is out (the printer's fault) endangering our copyright. Please see the right ones get in these copies.

Walt Whitman

Frederick Oldach was a German bookbinder whose Philadelphia firm bound Whitman's Complete Poems & Prose (1888), a volume that included a profile photo of the poet on the title page. The nearly 900-page book was published in December 1888. For more information on the book, see Ed Folsom, Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman: A Catalog and Commentary (University of Iowa: Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, 2005).


1. Whitman is referring to his Complete Poems & Prose (1888). [back]


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